South Africa really is its own movie at times – and with some parts of the nation now at the mercy of mindless looters, nothing summarises the sheer thoughtlessness of these riots quite like what was witnessed on TV last night: As Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his address to the nation, people could be seen raiding a SANBS blood bank.
President Ramaphosa talking while we all watch live as people try loot the SANBS was just #ShutdownSA
— Ulrich Janse van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) July 12, 2021
Ramaphosa ‘oblivious’ as blood bank hit by looters
The live pictures were utterly jaw-dropping. As the president himself warned looters that the army would be sent into KZN and Gauteng to restore order, one of the most puzzling and reckless crimes imaginable was unfolding before our very eyes. Ramaphosa, oblivious to these scenes, vowed to bring prosecutions against those involved.
“It is vital that we protect property and safeguard social and economic infrastructure. We are therefore mobilising all available resources and capabilities to restore order. As the Commander-in-Chief of the South African Defence Force, I have today authorised the deployment of Defence Force personnel in support of the operations of SAPS.
“Let me be clear – we will take action to protect every person in this country against the threat of violence, intimidation, theft and looting. We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who perpetrate these actions. We will restore calm and order so that we can get on with the task of rebuilding this country and creating a better life for its people.”
Watch: Looters raid a SANBS blood bank
— Lerato K (@leratokeele) July 12, 2021
I don't think the people breaking into SANBS have donated blood before. They don't even understand the cause anymore..
Is this what they mean when they say "Zulu uyasabeka".. They now loot blooodpic.twitter.com/Sbp8L3i0T3
— Denotion (@MrDenotion) July 12, 2021
SANBS reacts to shock scenes
In a brief but measured statement issued on Twitter, the SA National Blood Service condemned the vandalism at one of their centers – and reiterated the president’s call for calm.
“The SANBS condemns vandalism and the destruction of property. We call for calm and remind everyone of the importance of working together to ensure that we save lives.” | SA National Blood Service on Twitter